Saturday, March 30, 2013

Betty & Dupree (Examples & Lyrics)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post presents information about and five examples of the Blues and Rhythm & Blues song "Betty And Dupree".

The content of this post is presented for historical, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

The Blues song "Betty & Dupree" was first documented in the 1930s.

Click for lyrics to "Dupree Blues" as recorded by Willie Walker and Sam Brooks, Atlanta, Georgia, 6 December 1930. Columbia 14578-D. Transcription from Jeff Todd Titon 'Early Downhome Blues' University of North Carolina Press Second Edition pp 70-71. [from November 21, 2000 post by Stewie]

On that same day in that same Mudcat discussion thread, Stewie also provided information about & lyrics to another 1930s version of "Dupree Blues": "Kingfish Bill Tomlin 'Dupree Blues' Paramount 13057. Recorded Grafton, Wisconsin, c November 1930. Transcription from Paul Oliver 'Songsters and Saints' Cambridge University Press pp 253-254."

Also, this comment posted on November 21, 2000 on that same Mudcat discussion thread by Art Thieme indicated that the Betty and Dupree song was based on an actual occurrence:
"The version I recorded is pretty much the way I heard Josh White do it in the late 1950s in Chicago. The information I've picked up over the last 40 years is that Frank Dupree of Abbeville, S. Carolina killed a Georgia patrolman for which he was hanged on September 1, 1922--(Georgia Department of Public Health). Dupree had been trying to rob an Atlanta jewelry store on December 15, 1921. After killing one and wounding others, Dupree escaped and was finally captured in Detroit, Michigan after a chase through several states."

(These videos are presented in chronological order based on the date of their YouTube posting, with the oldest dated videos posted first.)

Example #1: Betty & Dupree by Cookie & the Cupcakes

groovetown1503, Uploaded on Sep 16, 2009

Example #2: Josh White: Betty and Dupree (1956)

davidhertzberg,Uploaded on Aug 29, 2010

Josh White (1914 - 1969) sings "Betty and Dupree." I created this video from the LP, "The Josh White Stories, Volume 1," issued on the ABC-Paramount label in 1958, serial number ABC-124.

You can read about this remarkable artist -- billed as "The Father of American Folk Music" -- here:

and here:

Example #3: Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - Betty and Dupree

Kevin Joseph, Uploaded on Oct 13, 2011

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee's haunting version of the Chuck Willis classic.

Example #4: The Stroll w/ The King of The Stroll: Chuck Willis - Betty and Dupree ("Seventeen")

Rgjraccoon, Published on Oct 25, 2012

Click for lyrics to this song.

This video is also featured in this post on my zumalayah cultural blog: "The Stroll-The Model For The Soul Train Line".

Example #5: TAJ MAHAL TRIO - Betty and Dupree - LRBC-19. S.E. Caribbean 10/27~11/3 - 2012

rd350c, Published on Dec 2, 2012

Taj was supposed to come on at 10:15 and it rained and rained. But Taj hung in there for us and went on sometime after midnight. What devotion to fans, and what a great performer. The show was magical. Everyone knew the cruise was ending - people were crying.

Thanks to the composers of these songs, and thanks to the vocalists and musicians who are featured in these videos. My thanks also to bloggers whose comments I quoted or linked to. Thanks also to the producers of and publishers of these videos.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

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